From a young age, Dario Garcia-Carracedo has understood the importance of the parts that equal the whole.
As a 12-year-old boy growing up in Oviedo, Spain, he would often checkout animal books from the library and visit his grandmother in the countryside to identify creatures and observe them in their natural habitats. In high school, he became interested in molecular biology and was fascinated by how the cell works.
When settling on a career path in college, Dario wanted to do something that he could apply to society, so he chose oncology. Upon completing his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Oviedo, he moved to the United States in 2008 after receiving a grant to work as an associate research scientist studying head and neck and pancreatic cancers at Columbia University in New York. In 2015, he received a Medical Affairs Fellowship at Novocure.
As a fellow, he learned about the business and supported the Medical Affairs department, which reviews materials for medical and scientific accuracy, creates medical and scientific content, and monitors the competitive landscape. After his one-year contract, he was hired as a Manager, and has since been promoted to Senior Manager and Associate Director of Medical Affairs.
In Dario’s role today, focus is essential to doing his job well.
“Focus to me means to direct the attention at what is important, and what’s important, are our patients,” Dario said.
Focus to me means to direct the attention at what is important, and what’s important, are our patients.
The Medical Affairs team supports other parts of the business and receives a high volume of requests to review materials, many of which are time sensitive. In order to focus effectively, Dario said, he also has to prioritize.
“It’s almost like making a to-do list and just having everything organized. Keeping the focus on the things that need priority, but without forgetting about other things you have on your to-do list, getting to them when the time is necessary,” Dario said of his strategy for focus.
His experience of working in laboratories has translated to his work at Novocure. Focus is also important in his role because he often reviews or creates materials that are distributed to patients and health care providers or at scientific congresses, and those materials need to be accurate.
“In the laboratory, you have to be very meticulous, focused and organized,” Dario said, adding that a lack of focus in a lab could result in having to repeat an experiment. “In order to be scientifically accurate, prioritize and meet all of your deadlines, you have to be able to direct your attention.”
In his current role, Dario leads a team and often imparts his approach of focus and prioritization to his colleagues.
“I enjoy the fact that I can influence others on my team by sharing the ways I see things,” he said. “I think that’s very powerful, and I feel very lucky.”
Growing with the organization has helped Dario to prioritize his workflow.
“I’ve been more involved in conversations that are cross-functional,” he said. “I’m able to see a bigger picture than when I first arrived here. I am able to see which things need to get out first.”
Dario also sees how his work plays a role in the bigger picture of Novocure’s mission. For example, during the first few months of his fellowship, he helped develop the materials that are used to train physicians to become certified prescribers of Novocure’s cancer treatment. Those materials have been used to certify hundreds of physicians who have prescribed Novocure’s therapy to thousands of patients.
“It always feels good,” he said of making a difference at Novocure. “The moment I joined Novocure, I realized that everything we do has an impact on our patients.”